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The Figo Affair: Netflix's deep dive documentary about controversial Barcelona - Real Madrid transfer

11:38 AM EDT 8/22/22
Luis Figo Real Madrid Barcelona
Everything you need to know about the Netflix football documentary around Luis Figo's transfer from Barca to Real

Luis Figo once found himself at the centre of one of the most controversial transfers football had ever seen, and a remarkable agreement that took him from Barcelona to Real Madrid is set to become the subject of a Netflix documentary. El Caso Figo, or The Figo Affair, will offer unique insight into how a stunning deal was done and why it caused such a fuss.

Plenty of football followers, from Portugal to Catalunya, will be eager to catch a glimpse of what promises to be an intriguing tale, with GOAL on hand to deliver all of the information you need to get in on that act.

What is The Figo Affair about?

Back in July 2000, with Portugal international winger Figo having spent five years on the books at Barcelona, Real Madrid and their Galactico-hungry president Florentino Perez agreed to trigger a buyout clause that existed in a contract completed by their fiercest rivals.

The Blancos made it known that they would be willing to pay €62 million (£53m/$62m) – a world record fee at the time – for a proven performer in La Liga that they believed could make a telling contribution at Santiago Bernabeu.

Barca supporters felt betrayed by a player they had welcomed into their hearts, as he crossed a fierce Clasico divide in Spanish football, and Figo quickly morphed from hero to villain in the eyes of those at Camp Nou.

He was mercilessly taunted during any subsequent outings against the Blaugrana, with a first return to Catalunya in October 2000 seeing Figo become a target for banners and missiles from the stands.

His most infamous retracing of steps to Barcelona came a year later, though, in November 2002 when, as projectiles once again rained down on him from the terraces, a pig’s head was thrown in his direction as he prepared to take a corner.

Some 20 years on from a transfer that sent shock waves around the world, Netflix has gained access to the men that made a move possible and found themselves filling prominent roles in a thrilling sporting soap opera.

The documentary will also dive into the business of backroom deals, a historic and passionate rivalry that is shaped by a deep cultural divide and, of course, that pig’s head.

When is The Figo Affair released?

The Figo Affair will be made available to stream on Netflix from August 25, 2022.

The documentary has been made by David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas, who are best known for their work on the biographical film ‘Pele’ from 2021.

Tryhorn has said of turning attention towards another all-time great: "After the success of Pele, Ben and I were delighted to partner with Netflix again on El Caso Figo.

"It’s increasingly hard to find sports documentaries that are saying something new, that aren’t simply biographies or histories of sporting successes, so we believe El Caso Figo is unique.

"Focusing on the transfer rather than Figo’s career, the film informs us about truth, greed, morality, and the inner workings of the world’s most popular sport.

"We were delighted that all those involved in the deal were willing to participate in full. Everyone, from Florentino Perez to Pep Guardiola, was generous with their time but Luis Figo was particularly accommodating, desperate as he was to finally set the record straight after two decades of avoiding the question of his transfer."

How to watch & stream The Figo Affair

The Figo Affair will be released exclusively on the Netflix streaming service.

It is a Spanish language production, but will be made available to a global audience with subtitles.

A basic Netflix subscription in the United Kingdom costs £6.99 per month, rising to £15.99 for the premium package, while that translates to $9.99 and $19.99 respectively in the United States.

The Figo Affair trailer

You can watch the trailer for the documentary in the video above.